SCREENPLAYS ARE ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS (PART 1)
I used to think scripts were about action. Then I was convinced they were about conflict. Finally, I decided they were about hero’s journey. But despite action, conflict and hero’s journey, I felt nothing writing my scripts — and my readers felt just as little.
We dogs pride ourselves on making you humans smile and cry. Woof! So I wanted my readers to feel similar emotions reading my scripts.
I thought about my own life story: I’m an adorable pug, who moved to New York City to become a screenwriter, starved for ten years, never gave up on my dream, until finally I won 30 screenwriting prizes this year, and am about to get my TV & novel deals. — Now how about that story, dear reader? Did it dazzle you with emotion? No? I knew it…
You see, a story only becomes emotional if you add a relationship.— Watch & learn, as I re-tell the same story, but this time, filtered through a relationship:
There was terrible screenwriter, named James. He adopted a puppy (ME!) and typed his terrible scripts while I snored on his lap. One day, I began barking out ideas and yodeling dialogue, and his scripts suddenly stopped sucking. That’s how we became a writing team. For ten years, we starved together, until finally winning 30 prizes and landing TV/publishing deals. Last Christmas, I went blind. Yes, dear reader, I’m blind now. But that doesn’t stop James from taking me on walks, carrying me across intersections so I won’t get run over. In January, I died…but hold on…James resuscitated me (for real!). He pumped my furry chest until my paws wiggled back to life. He wouldn’t give up. When I opened my eyes, I finally admitted James isn’t so bad. I hope he never dies. — Now, tell me dear reader. Did that story make you feel something?
Bottom line: Stories about relationships make us feel. So from now on — screenwriters (and that includes you Flaco the chipmunk) FILTER ALL YOUR STORIES THROUGH A RELATIONSHIP → THAT will make audiences smile. And cry! This god (I mean dog) guarantees it.